Saturday’s headliner saw Israel Adesanya successfully defend his middleweight title once again with a clear-cut, but critically panned unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier. In contrast, Pereira lit up Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena two fights earlier with an explosive knockout of Sean Strickland.
Following the main event, Adesanya called for a fight with Pereira, his former kickboxing rival, and Pereira promises that their championship bout will be much more crowd-pleasing.
“He did his part, but it was a fight that not only didn’t excite me but it also did not excite the crowd,” Pereira said via a Portuguese translator at the evening’s post-fight press conference when asked to comment on the main event. “I was very sad to see that, so I hope when we fight he does a better fight than that. But for sure, I’m going to make him fight to give a better show to the crowd.”
When it comes to MMA, Pereira’s experience is limited, though he is now 3-0 in the UFC and two of those wins have come by way of knockout. Pereira is a star in the world of kickboxing, having won titles in two divisions for the Glory promotion and beaten Adesanya twice.
Ever since Pereira made his UFC debut in November 2021, many assumed it was with the intent of setting up a third fight with Adesanya. “Poatan” is now prepared to sign on for that opportunity as soon as possible.
“Whenever he’s ready, I just finished my fight, I’m fine,” Pereira said. “So I could start training tomorrow. I’m going to take two weeks to enjoy my life a little bit, but whenever he thinks he’s ready to go, I’m good.”
Pereira is aware that there will still be doubters of his contender viability given his lack of MMA fights, but he feels strongly that he made enough of a statement at UFC 276 to win over the fan base.
“A lot of people talk, especially fighters, they think they have a chance over me, so it feels good to prove that because at the end of the day it’s what the people want,” Pereira said. “People want to see knockouts. People want to see the style that I fight. People want to see whoever is in front of me getting knocked out and that’s what I bring for them.”